FRANCE: Pump and Principle

Most controversial of the new French labor laws enacted two years ago by Socialist Léon Blum's Popular Front Government was a rigid 40-hour working week. To millions of French workers this meant less work, a general five-day week. To the French employer the law was anathema. To hundreds of thousands of tourists the law meant that banks would be closed all day Saturdays, that big Paris stores would not open Mondays.

When Premier Edouard Daladier took his new job two months ago, heroics were needed to solve French financial troubles, to help French industry. Employers demanded the end of the...

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